Today‘s Georgie Gardner takes a swipe at Karl Stefanovic after conversation leak

Karl Stefanovic allegedly spoke about his co-host Georgie Gardner in a private phone call that's since been leaked.

Karl Stefanovic allegedly spoke about his co-host Georgie Gardner in a private phone call that's since been leaked. Photo: Nine Network

Today Show co-hosts Karl Stefanovic and Georgie Gardner have shared a terse exchange on the Nine morning show the same day a private conversation Stefanovic had with his brother Peter about Gardner was leaked to the media.

During the show’s Monday morning broadcast, Gardner made a thinly veiled reference to the tension between herself and Stefanovic while discussing a story about Daschunds with Today news presenter Sylvia Jeffreys, who is married to Peter Stefanovic.

“Karl apparently was savaged by a sausage dog as a child and he’s never quite recovered,” Gardner told Jeffreys as footage of the dog breed played on screens.

“He chooses not to watch this vision,” she added, as Stefanovic looked away from the footage of the dogs in mock discomfort.

“You’ve got to face your fears Karl,” Jeffreys joked.

A more serious Gardner interjected: “That’s right, and that’s coming up, don’t you worry about that.”

“Is it?” Stefanovic asked tentatively.

The joke continued, with Gardner mocking Stefanovic for fearing the “menacing” dogs.

“I sense a little sarcasm in your voice,” Stefanovic said.

“Well,” she responded, “it’s probably about now that I should call you pathetic, actually.”

The awkward moment came as New Idea magazine published comments from an Uber driver who claimed to have overheard a private phone call between the Stefanovic brothers, in which they were allegedly critical of Gardner and Today colleague Richard Wilkins.

Karl and Peter apologised for the conversation, which was conducted over speakerphone, in a statement on Sunday.

“Pete and I were guilty of having a spray after a Sunday barbecue. We talk a hundred times a day and hardly ever about work,” Karl said.

“But we did, and the conversation was recorded. And we are sorry. I was angry with myself at first that I could be so stupid.

“For the record, Georgie Gardner is killing it as well. She’s the best thing to happen to the show in years. She’s hungry, she’s working hard and making the show better every day. I love working with her. Anyone says differently, they don’t know.”

He added: “PS. I’ll be taking cabs from now on.”

Peter, who hosts Weekend Today and is an occasional correspondent for Today, said: “I did a silly thing and feel awful for any embarrassment I’ve brought to my colleagues, who I deeply ­respect.

“It is embarrassing to not only get myself into this situation but also my big brother, and the network.

“There’s nothing quite like having all your insecurities out there for people to see and read. I am now investing in a hands-free ear piece, and I gave the driver one star – but only because you can’t give a zero.”

It is illegal in New South Wales to record a conversation without all parties being aware of the recording.

Despite initial reports of a recording being shopped around to media, the Uber driver told New Idea he “vehemently” denies recording the conversation and instead had written down the conversation from memory.

An Uber spokesperson said the company had immediately blocked the driver from using the app.

Also on Monday, Channel Ten host Jessica Rowe defended her good friend Gardner and said the Stefanovic siblings weren’t entirely innocent.

“Georgie’s one of my dearest friends… the phone call shouldn’t have been recorded, or whatever, but I don’t think these two are victims,” Rowe said on Studio 10.

“If you have nothing nice to say about someone, do it behind closed doors. Do not do it on speakerphone where people are listening.

“Georgie is an incredible journalist, she is not neutral about anything, she’s strong, she’s committed, she’s passionate. I’m sick of blokes saying negative things about women.”

A spokesperson for the Today Show and Georgie Gardner said they would be making no further comment on the matter.

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